Taxi driver beaten up by passenger at 70mph


Taxi driver beaten up by passenger at 70mph

Hartlepool magistrates heard how a thug head-butted and punched a taxi driver while the cab travelled at 70mph on the motorway.

Anthony Coyle punched the taxi driver so hard his glasses fell off as they drove down the A19, on the outskirts of Hartlepool, Cleveland.

The 25-year-old had booked the cab to pick him up from Horden Labour Club and take him to Middlesbrough but Coyle asked the driver to make a pit stop at a nearby off-licence where he bought a bottle of wine to drink on the journey.

The young thug then began to bang on the dashboard and the driver asked him to stop. Coyle then jumped towards the driver and head-butted him "hard to the side of the head".

The yob then punched him to the left side of the face, the force of which knocked his glasses off.

The taxi driver pulled off the A19 and into the car park of The Windmill pub, at Dalton Piercy, where he went inside and phoned police.

Prosecuting, Joanne Hesse told justices: "He was drinking (the wine) and then started braying on the dashboard of the taxi.

"The taxi driver asked the defendant to stop several times and on doing so the defendant head-butted the driver hard to the side of the head while travelling at 70mph on a major road.

"The driver said it shocked him, but then the defendant punched him to the left side of the face knocking his glasses off.

"He suffered soreness to the head and said he wouldn't be seeking medical treatment at the time, but would if necessary."

Coyle, of Maritime Crescent, Peterlee, pleaded guilty to assault by beating.

The court also heard that at the time of the offence he was subject to a community order for assaulting a police officer, and has other public order offences on his record.

Chairman of the bench Keith Kitching adjourned sentencing Coyle until Monday next week to allow for the completion of a report by the Probation Service.